Stop What You’re Doing and Start labeling!

October 1, 2010 | By More

Ladies, whatever you have planned for this weekend, cancel it. You must stop what you are doing and place the following at the top of your priority list.

You must find every picture in your house and write on the back the year it was taken and the people in the picture. If you can you should also write how these people are related to you and what event you are capturing in the photo.

After you have finished that project you need to find any object in your home — crystal, china, vases, platters, candy dishes, gloves, hats, lamps, wall hangings, quilts, comforters, irons, ironing boards, phones, tools, and any and all furniture – and label them with who it belonged to, where you got it, and if it should be kept or discarded after your death.

I am giving you all this assignment in the hopes that future generations will move much more quickly through our possessions than my family and I have moved through my dear grandparents’ possessions. We have just spent five longs days trying to work our way through 95 years of accumulation of their earthly possessions. We have made great progress, but there is still more to do. I am sure we would have moved much more quickly had the above mentioned actions been taken by my grandparents and great-grandparents.

Picture if you will, four women standing around for five minutes pondering the origin of a beautiful yellow platter or five different cake stands. Multiply that by about 200 items and you have the lunacy- inducing events of our lives. We had no idea if some of these things were drug store finds or family heirlooms. Instead, we were left with my sister making up really good stories to go along with some of these items.

For instance, we have two very old pictures in oval frames with curved glass. They are, I am sure, pictures of our relatives; we just have no idea which ones. One appears to be that of a one to two-year-old little girl. It’s hard to tell because in those days little boys were often put in gowns for pictures at that age. My sister has decided that this picture will, from this day forward, be my grandmother when she was two-years-old. We have no way to know if we are lying to future generations or not, and apparently after five days of sorting, we don’t really care. The other picture is even more of a stretch. She has decided that picture is of our great-uncle Jewel who died at the age of 19. Since it works for me, we are actually going to label them this way.

See why it is important for you to label your own pictures? If you don’t, you risk that someday your grandchildren or great-grandchildren will be making up a name and story to go along with a picture of you. Heck, now that I think about it that doesn’t sound too bad. I could just go ahead and make up some really good stories about myself and record them on the back of some pictures. I won’t really, but it is kind of funny to think about what I could say.

Seriously, I am going to spend some time this week making the future a little easier for my children and grandchildren. I am taking pictures of family keepsakes — many of which I just brought back with me from my grandparents’ house — and writing down the information that goes with it. Then, I am placing it in a photo album. This way they will hopefully know which candlesticks I picked up at the dollar store and which ones belonged to their great-grandmother.

And, if I don’t hurry up and label all my boys’ baby pictures, even I won’t be able to tell you which one is which son. They all looked so much alike when they were 3 to 6 months old. I have a feeling I will be doing a little creative name labeling myself on a few of their pictures. But for a woman who once labeled a picture, ‘the first day of school,’ even though it was really the ‘second day,’ I think I can get away with it.

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Category: Every Day Life

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